Tuesday , June 25 2024

High Speed Rail Could End Industrial Park

A proposed industrial park along Avenue 12 in Madera County promised to bring thousands of jobs, but the new high speed rail line will go through part of the land, possibly sending those jobs elsewhere.

Back in 2004, it was merely an idea for Makram , a developer who lives in San Diego.

"A cluster of distribution centers and a lot of ancillaries and supporting businesses under one roof," Hanna said.

Centerpoint Logistic Park was a planned industrial park that would have been located on more than 600 acres in Madera County. Bobby Kahn with Madera County Economic Development Commission said the park could provide more than 6,000 desperately needed jobs.

"You’re looking at several million square feet that could be built on that property so you calculate that into long term jobs and property tax revenues. You’re looking at a substantial project," Kahn said.

But in 2012, Hanna found out that high speed rail could mean the end of his plans for the huge industrial park.

"You lose roads, you lose the whole map, water flow," Hanna said.

The rail would only take up 20 acres of his property, but would run right through the middle of it, effectively gutting the project.

"In real estate, they say location, location, location. And if your location is not desirable, the company will not come," Hanna said.

The property was up for approval of eminent domain takeover by the State Public Works Board Monday night, but it was tabled after Hanna sent in a request for an appearance before the board.

Now, rail authorities will meet with him to try to reach an agreement. Hanna said he’s going to fight on, but the high speed rail has left his project in limbo.

"We’re ready to bring in jobs," Hanna said.

The High Speed Rail Authority released the following statement regarding Hanna’s Properties: “The Authority has met with Mr. Hanna and will continue to work with him in an effort to come to an agreement,” said Diana Gomez, the Authority’s Central Valley Regional Director.  “The Authority understands that property owners will be affected by the construction of the high-speed rail system. In light of this fact, we are committed to doing everything we can to educate, inform, and work collaboratively with affected property owners.”

The properties will stay off the State Public Works Board agenda until further notice.

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